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Temari Wrap 

Make] Projects 

hhiiilH ho/ 1 !/ tuMaal/ chare r\icf*f\\tat* 

build, hack, tweak, share, discover,- 

Temari Wrap 

Written By: Ginny Thompson 



Pins (1) 
color- headed. 

Scissors (1) 

Sewing needle (1) 

cotton darner or similar, with eye large 

enough for pearl cotton. 

■ • 

Styrofoam ball (1) 

Pearl cotton (2) 
2 different colors. 

Metallic thread (1) 

metallic thread similar in size to pearl 

cotton, or a bit finer. 


Thread (1) 

plain sewing thread, at least 300 yards. 

Paper strip (1) 

about 2" wide. 12" long. 


Temari is an ancient Japanese folk art dating back more than 500 years. Temari means 
"hand" (te) "ball" (mari), relating to both making by and playing with the hands. Originally, 
balls for games and children were made from bits and scraps of kimono, other clothing, or 
deer hide. Strips of cloth or leather would be tightly wound into a ball and stitched together to 

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Temari Wrap 

hold the shape. Since an item carries not only function but beauty in Japanese culture, the 
stitching became more and more intricate, leading up to the detailed embroideries seen in 
both historical and present-day creations. Temari evolved from toy to objet d'art. It is carried 
on today (with some modern adjustments) as a fiber art; temari are made and collected 

Step 1 — Wrap the ball. 

• Wrap the yarn around the styrofoam ball, keeping it moving at all times to make the wrap 
random and even. Wrap the sewing thread over the yarn layer, covering the yarn 
completely. Wrap in all directions to create a surface that does not have warp or weft, 
similar to a felted surface. Run the end back under the wraps when complete. It needs to 
be deep enough to take a stitch (usually about 300 yards for a 2" to 3" ball is enough). 

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Temari Wrap 

Step 2 — Mark the poles. 

• Temari uses relational geometry to place a marking grid on the ball to use as a stitching 
guide (no measuring tape!). Use a white pin, and pin the end of the paper strip anywhere. 
Place the pin 1/4" from the end. This spot is now the North Pole. Wrap the strip around the 
fullest circumference of the ball. Fold the strip to "fit," and trim to this length. Then fold the 
strip in half and cut a notch at the fold. Re-wrap the strip around the ball, and place a black 
pin in the notch, which should be directly opposite the North Pole. This is now the South 

Step 3 — Mark the obi. 

• Fold the strip again, bringing South 
Pole to North Pole, and cut another 
notch at the halfway point. Rewrap, 
and place a red pin at the empty 
notch. Remove the strip again, fold 
it into eighths, and place the hole 
from the North Pole marker at the 
red pin. Wrap the strip at the 
widest horizontal point and place a 
red pin at each notch, marking the 
equator (called the obi). 

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Temari Wrap 

Step 4 — Divide the sections. 

• Measure off 4 or more wraps of metallic thread and thread the needle. Enter the needle a 
little bit away from the North Pole, bringing it out at the North Pole. Pull the thread through 
to hide the tail in the wrap. Start at the North Pole and wrap around to the South Pole, 
passing along one of the equator pins. Come back up to North Pole, pivot to the next 
equator pin, and wrap around. Continue in this manner until you've divided the ball into 8 
vertical sections divided by the obi. Tack at the North Pole and South Pole, and clip thread 
at the surface. Tack each intersection of equator and vertical marking thread. Remove all 
pins except the North and South Pole pins. Place pins halfway between obi and North Pole 
and between obi and South Pole on each line, alternating colors. 

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Temari Wrap 

Step 5 — Embroider a square. 

• Cut a working length of the first color of pearl cotton (your choice) and thread the needle. 

• Enter the needle a small distance away from one colored pin (A) on the northern 
hemisphere, and bring it out at the pin, pulling the tail of the thread under. 

• Bring the needle down and right to equator point B, and take a small stitch around the 
marking lines, going "above" the vertical marking line. Then pull the thread down and left to 
pin C (the pin in the southern hemisphere opposite pin A) and insert the needle under 
thread wrapping, pulling out to equator point D. 

• Turn the ball so that pin C is pointing up. Take a small stitch around the equator marking 
threads. Turn the ball so that you're back to the starting point, and insert the needle under 
the thread wrapping. You've stitched a square, going from top to right to bottom to left. 

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Temari Wrap 

Step 6 — Repeat. 

• Move 2 pins to the left, so that you are at the next pin of this colored pin set (skip a 
marking line). Repeat the stitching sequence on this and the remaining 2 sets of lines for 
this pin set. Your stitches at the obi will overlap each other to create an interwoven effect 
as more rows are stitched; you should have 4 squares using 1 set of colored pins. You can 
remove this set of pins, but place 1 pin in the middle of the square where you began 
stitching as a placeholder. End off the thread by running under the base wrap and clipping 
at the surface. Using the second color of pearl cotton, stitch the same pattern on the 
alternate set of marking lines. 

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Temari Wrap 

Step 7 — Finish the squares. 

• Return to the first color of pearl 
cotton at the first square, and stitch 
another round; repeat on each 
square for this set. Change to the 
second color, start at the first 
square for that set, and stitch 
another round. Repeat this 
sequence until the pattern builds to 
the desired effect — usually about 
5 to 7 rounds. The squares will 
interweave between colors, and the 
equator design will create smaller 
interwoven diamonds within the 
same color. 

Step 8 — Embellish. 

• Use the metallic thread and stitch 1 finishing row around each square, staying in the 
alternating pattern to keep the interwoven effect intact. Use metallic thread to make 
crossline embellishments in the center of each square and at the Poles. Remove pins. 
With the eye of the needle, gently adjust any threads that need "nudging" into place. Enjoy 
your temari, a piece of Japanese folk art. 

This project first appeared in CRAFT Volume 03 . pages 50-52. 

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This document was last generated on 201 2-1 1 -03 1 2:48:1 6 AM. 

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